Drawings

Theta Persei.

23rd of October and a huge Moon rising . Mars was wobbling , but both Uranus and Neptune gave green and blue coloured discs. Clusters were bleached out , its worth looking at M34 , looking like a skewed NGC 457.

Continuing with the exploration of Perseus, I revisited Theta Persei. A straight on view of the very delicate and delightful companion, just away from the main star. Then out to just under four times distant and the third star of this multiple magic.

I continued with Perseus , the sky was super stable and amazingly transparent. There was no difficulty picking out the shape of M76. There’s plenty action even in a low and full moon.Dew set in with falling temperature , time to click on dew heaters well before observing.

Looking out this morning , Capella was right overhead, Gemini high in the north and the welcome sight of Procyon swinging towards a very bright Sirius and Orion. Just a stunning winter view .

I’d venture that Σ162 is the finest triple here. Being on the boundary , it also appears in details for Andromeda.

Theta is easily spotted by eye, just follow up from M34 on this chart ,

Observing 17-18 th October.

Swadlincote 17-18/9/18 Vixen 102 on heq5pro pro mount.

What 4″ of aperture in light pollution can do.

It is a constant source of amazement and pleasure to observe targets from here. We are surrounded by some nine streetlights , neighbours with security lights and no curtains. Using poles and dark throws has quartered off an observing area. It’s also on the hedgehog highway, they have been known to trundle past through the tripod legs.

The night started very favourably with Saturn below a low yellowish Moon. Mars was still wobbling. It was great to set up about eight and finish about two. Some beautiful targets. I haven’t done the research on their stories yet.

It’s often enjoyable just to look at them. I turned to Cygnus as it passed the zenith and again caught NGC 6811 , ” the hole in the cluster” . There was good dark sky action with M27, the blue snowball, Eastern Veil and even a core to NGC 7331.

Here’s a few targets off the beaten track.

Lacerta gives the most stunning background , set in the stream of the Milky Way. Of the open clusters , NGC 7209 is an old favourite. There are some pretty delicate pairs in NGC 7394 and NGC 7245.

Onto a few binaries here , the inline h ( Herschel)1735 being triple. I was very surprised to catch a tiny field star next to the pair of 8 Lacertae. 13 Lacertae is a ticklish challenge.

Then a Star Trek to the northern constellations. NGC 7510 in Cepheus is a wondrous cluster. There is a dusty triangle at low power, like fairy dust ! NGC 7686 gave a beautiful bright shape in Andromeda. I started on the Perseus binaries . Straight away theta Persei gave the most challenging tiny spec of a companion. ΟΣ 81 and DOO 7 I caught in the same view.

No great aperture here (4″), no great magnification , going from x42 to x77 with one at x182. Next time out it’ll be trying out the Baader astrometric eyepiece, to verify some separations and ensure the capture of those elusive faint multiples, under ,

clear skies ! Nick.

M34 multiple stars.

when you look at M34 it’s most appealing feature is the mass of multiple stars on view. I have details of those in M44. Open clusters are mainly young stars .

New stars are formed in the gas and debris loaded arms of spiral galaxies, you can observe new stars in the Trapezium of the Orion Nebula.In the early universe star formation gave a ratio of binaries to triples of 60:40. Later this evolved into a ratio of 65 binary : 25 triple : 35 singles. Gravitation pulls apart open clusters , one of the biggest we can see is Ursa Major . The whole of the plough is a moving cluster apart from the first and last star.

I got the whole wide view , but found a more detailed drawing showing the main multiple stars. Just using a 4″ scope , these are very accessible.

Next time I”lol use some more magnification to get these stars and increase the contrast. I also had look at Sigma Cassiopeiae, a lovely delicate view, under clear skies ! Nick.

“Bogardus” , out of the glare.

12/9/18 Swadlincote.

A visit from a friend bearing his 120 ed Equinox and clearing dark skies. The clarity and sharpness of the views was astounding. One example which really opened out was the multiple “Bogardus”, theta (θ) Aurigae. Easily spotted by eye , put some magnification to it,

W. Hershel spotted the wide companion. There is a close companion which pops out of the primary diffraction disc.

The primary is 285 x brighter than Sol, giving a radius of x5.4 greater. It has a magnetic field a thousand times that of Earth. It’s 175 light years distant , the B companion( same size as Sol) is 185 AU distant and has a 1200 year orbit.The distant companion is not gravitationally bound.

It’s a delight to catch the close companion as the main star is 75 times brighter ! We caught this initially at very lower power , this is at x138,

Nick.

Andromeda multiples.

Beautifully placed for comfy viewing , Andromeda holds some hidden binary treasures.

Σ2987 (SAO 52795) is wonderfully delicate.

Catch ΟΣΣ244 (SAO 52912) with it’s very fast proper motion with ΟΣ493 in the field of view.

8 Andromedae (SAO 52871) is an orange star in the triple group. It’s a multiple up to F.

ES2725 (SAO 52899) caught in the same fov as ARY3.

Almach is a sheer colourful joy. On one poor night it appeared as orange and green.W. Herschel called it his “most beautiful object”. Orange blue is normally seen here.

Σ79 (1h00.1  +44 43′) a wonderful pleasing bright pair.

59 Andromedae (SAO 55331) a lovely bright pair.

Σ3050 (SAO 73656) gives twins.

Alpheratz is x200 brighter than our sun. It’s companion is the highest content mercury – manganese star.

Σ79 I drew again on a better morning.

Σ162 (01h50 25  +47 58′) a lovely triple here.

Σ249 ( SAO 37971) some 38 times brighter than our sun.

Some cracking views , certainly visit Almach .It’s a cheery warm winter scene , under clear sky !

Nick.

Drawing of Comet C/2017 S3 in Camelopardalis by Nick Cox 20/7/2018

Really bright in Camelopardalis. Caught this at x50 at 1am.

https://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/panstarrs-comet-rocked-by-outburst-now-binocular-bright/

Wonderfully bright and easy . Just put in you details here to get coordinates,

https://www.heavens-above.com/comet.aspx?cid=C%2F2017%20S3&lat=0&lng=0&loc=Unspecified&alt=0&tz=UCT&cul=en

Nicko.

Observing miscellany, 1/7/18.

Swadlincote 1-2/7/18 Orion Optics 200 f6 11mm Nagler 23mm Panoptic.

It’s getting darker out there ! A foray until 1 ,caught some beautiful sights especially in Cygnus. I usually observe with refractors, recently getting down to .9 arc seconds separation using the 150. Secondary vanes produce spikes making binary stars difficult. The more modest size Newtonian from Orion Optics do come with a single vane , producing marble like stars of great clarity.

However , Newts do not give the contrast of refractors and are less indifferent to seeing (atmospheric disturbance) and transparency. Some results from Cygnus , part of a project to note the best views, which will be posted when complete.

The open clusters ,M39, M29 and NGC 2910 came up , but are best with a bit more darkness. I was surprised when Paul ( our long distant visitor ) sent over his observing notes.

A year ago he was trying for nebula and galaxies from the middle of St.Helens. He was getting pretty frustrated until I advised him to get a TAL 100 and Sissy Haas, “Double stars for small telescopes “. As you can tell he loves colour and triple stars.

Both Cepheus and Cygnus are well placed. Jupiter and Saturn giving some lovely views. Mars is more difficult , reports if dust storms possibly mashing surface features for the observer. The “Garnet star” , mu Cephei is essential viewing , spot it by eye at the base of Cepheus.

Here’s my effort at Polaris positional error, not bad,

Better than the wire tangle from two dew heaters and a battery booster !

I found these , worth a look ! At arm’s length , the moon is covered by a fingernail. Yet it looks so huge and glaring when full. Binoculars will give you the “seas” and areas where Apollo missions landed. Under clear skies ! Nick.